HOW HAS YOUR BACKGROUND AFFECTED YOUR LIFE/ WORK?
Thinking of Jamaica brings up complicated feelings within me. As a child I left with my family to come to Canada, a place where I would always feel like a stranger. When I returned home for my first visit at age 22 I realized that despite my deep connection to Jamaica I had changed and it had changed. Since so many of my formative years were spent elsewhere, there were parts of me that are not at home there. It is this yearning for home that drives my artistic exploration.
As I grew up, science fiction inspired me to imagine places beyond the world I saw around me; places that are neither here nor there. Rather than an easily identifiable location, perhaps home is not a geography at all but a feeling of possibility.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU (UPCOMING PROJECTS)?
At the moment I am pursuing a PhD. I am working with archives, Black memory and museums. I draw on Afrofuturism to look from the future to the past and to shed light on the present. My research results in artistic projects that contribute to the work of a growing community of researchers who are recovering silenced stories of people of African Descent in colonial Canada and reconnecting these stories to the larger history of the Diaspora.
When I think about the rupture through which the Diaspora was formed I feel an overwhelming sense of loss. But then I remember that we are archives. We carry the memories of our ancestors within us. My work is to express those memories.
Photo: Jeremy Watson